It’s checkmate for ‘board’ fans in Hull

Visitors to Hull’s historic Trinity Square can now ‘check’ out the latest attraction to arrive in the maritime city… new outdoor chess boards.

Keen players can meet for an open-air game in the spectacular setting of the square, overlooked by Hull Minster and the statue of Hull poet Andrew Marvell, in the heart of Hull’s Old Town.

Four outdoor chessboards have been installed on existing picnic benches in the picturesque public space, which was transformed ahead of Hull’s year as UK City of Culture 2017.

It already offers visitors a chance to see 700 years of history in surrounding buildings, including the Minster, dating back to the 1300s; the Old Grammar School, built in 1585; and Trinity Market, Hull’s oldest, covered, market, revitalised as a hub for the city’s thriving street food scene.

The square is also popular for its water features, four mirror pools that reflect their historic surroundings, creating the effect of mirrored paving, which were installed as part of the 2017 multi-million-pound transformation across the city, and recently refurbished.

Now city tourism chiefs hope the new chess boards will offer even more for visitors to see and do.

Open to anyone to play a game, local businesses are supporting the project by holding the chess pieces for players to borrow for a £5 returnable deposit. Among places where people can collect the pieces are Hull Minster, The Head of Steam pub, and the Hearth Restaurant & Bakery.

The project builds on the success of The British Chess Championships, which were brought to the city by the Hull & District Chess Association in partnership with Hull City Council in 2021.

Often referred to as a hidden treasure, Hull Old Town still retains its medieval footprint when the city was one of the busiest ports in Europe, and its cobbled streets are surrounded by reminders of the past, as well as home to the city’s Museums Quarter, with free entry attractions.

Visitors can discover the oddly named street “Land of Green Ginger”, visit historic pubs, including the George Hotel – home to the smallest window in England – and Ye Olde Back Boy, Hull’s oldest pub, dating from 1377, and home to the plotting parlour, where the English Civil War was allegedly plotted. Beverley Gate, in the Old Town, is also the spot at which Charles I was refused entry to the city, one of the sparks that ignited the War in 1642.

For tourism information about Hull, see

Photo: Hull City Council